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I have Been a Quarry Worker For 40 Years, Says Irungu Maina

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Meet Lamu’s Oldest Quarry Worker, Irungu Maina.

The father of 11 has been doing the job since 1981.

Mr Maina is 68 years old.

However, every time you visit Manda-Maweni, a remote village in Lamu West, you are likely to spot this old man holding his hoe while inside one of the quarries courageously doing the job of making building blocks.

Mr Maina describes the job as hard and tiresome but he is quick to say that he cannot quit since it has helped him sustain his family, including educating most of his children.

The last-born child is now in college and Mr Maina hopes leaving such a job is not proper.

“For all the 40 years I have been in this business, I have been able to take care of my family, my wife and children. Most of my children are educated and it’s only through this difficult job,” said Mr Maina.

Mr Maina says during his youthful age as a quarry worker, he used to extract or make between 50 to 55 building blocks per day since he was energetic.

The old quarry worker however acknowledges that currently, he has no energy to extract even 15 blocks all because of his old age.

“During those days when I was at my tender age, I could make up to 50 or 55 building blocks a day. Nowadays, things have changed. I am aged. Even if I try, I can’t extract 10 or 15 blocks and if I do, I will stay in my house for several days before coming to this quarry to extract more stones,” said Mr Maina.

He is however appealing to the Lamu County Government and well-wishers to consider soliciting a reliable market for their building blocks, adding that the lack of a common market has resulted in them being exploited by middlemen.

A single building block at Manda-Maweni is sold for between Sh15 and Sh20.



“The lack of a market has led most of the quarry workers here to lead a life of poverty. We need a ready market so that middlemen can’t take advantage of us by buying our materials at a throw away price,” said Mr Maina.

Ends 

 

Content created and supplied by: MwagungaThoya (via Opera News )

Irungu Maina Lamu Lamu West Maina Manda-Maweni

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